The Constitutional Court is expected to hear the petition challenging the controversial reappointment of retired Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki as Chief Justice.
This high profile petition is expected to be heard by a panel of five justices led by Acting Chief Justice Steven Kavuma. Other justices on the panel include; Augustine Nshimye, Eldad Mwangusya, Geoffrey Kiryabwire and Prof Lillian Tibatemwa.
This case arose last year when Western Youth MP, Gerald Karuhanga dragged the Attorney General to court challenging President Museveni’s action in re-appointing retired Justice Odoki as Chief Justice; saying his reappointment contravenes articles 130, 133, 142 (1) (2) (3), 143 (1), 144 (1) (a) (2) of the constitution.
The law maker also argues that the Constitution does not provide for the re-appointment of a retired Chief Justice to the post of a substantive Chief Justice of Uganda.
The petitioner further accuses the President of not following the recommendations of the Judicial Service Commission that forwarded the name of Supreme Court Justice Bart Katureebe as the suitable candidate to replace Justice Odoki but the President instead re-appointed him, a move he says is unconstitutional.
Prof George Kanyeihamba who formerly worked at the Supreme Court Bench with Jutice Odoki, is expected to represent MP Karuhanga in this matter.
Recently, Prof Kanyeihamba said he would object the inclusion of Justice Kavuma on the panel to hear this matter on grounds that he has a conflict of interest since he is also interested in the same position of Chief Justice.
But the government through its chief legal advisor Peter Nyombi, has defended the re-appointment of Justice Odoki as being constitutional and that there will be no gross abuse of the rule of law and constitutionalism to that effect.
Justice Odoki clocked the retirement age of 70 on March 23 in 2013 before serving out the three months extension that ended on June 23. He had served in the judiciary for 35 years with the last 12 as Chief Justice.
However, President Museveni in a July 9, 2013 letter addressed to the chairman of the JSC Justice James Ogoola, directed that Mr Odoki be given a two year contract in order to maximise the services of our human resource.
The President also directed that other three retired Supreme Court justices; John Wilson Tsekooko, Christine Kitumba and Gildino Okello; be recalled to the Bench and indeed they have reported for duty.
Justice Odoki’s re-appointment has been met with resistance from different players who are up in arms saying he has clocked the retirement age.